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15 avr. 2020 | 12h38 UTC

Japan: Japan Airlines reduces May flights amid government calls for citizens to limit movements April 15 /update 19

Japan Alerte de sécurité

Japan Airlines announces the suspension of 94 percent of flights scheduled in May amid government appeals for citizens to limit movements due to COVID-19 on April 15; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 15/4/2020, 12h00 until 16/5/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Tokyo). COUNTRY/REGION Japan

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Event

Japan Airlines announced on Wednesday, April 15, that around 94 percent of its flights scheduled in May will be suspended due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The airline has decided to only continue operating cargo flights for key routes and canceled commercial passenger flights. Japan Airlines previously canceled around 85 percent of its international routes for the month of April. The airline's decision came on the same day that the government has urged people to reduce social interactions by at least 70 percent in an effort to contain the further spread of COVID-19. Government authorities have also asked citizens to donate raincoats to hospitals if possible, given a shortage of protective equipment for health professionals providing treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The governor of Aichi prefecture declared a state of emergency (SoE) as of Friday, April 10, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. No further measures have been announced. However, SoE declarations authorize governors to request that residents stay at home except for when conducting essential tasks, such as food shopping or seeking medical care. It also permits governors to close schools, public venues, and other facilities, among other emergency powers.

The announcement comes two days after the federal government declared a state of emergency for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka prefectures from Tuesday, April 7, through Wednesday, May 6. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that there is no lockdown and public transport and other essential services are currently being maintained as much as possible.

The Japanese also government announced on Tuesday, March 31, the extension of an entry ban to foreign nationals from 49 more countries, including the US, Canada, China, South Korea, as well as most European countries and some parts of Southeast Asia. The updated list will cover a total of 73 countries, which can be found here. Foreign travelers who have been to these areas in the preceding 14 days will be prohibited from entering Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also advised its citizens against non-essential travel abroad, particularly to the countries mentioned in the latest measures. The 2020 Olympics, originally set to take place in Tokyo, has also been pushed back to 2021 due to concerns about the virus.

As of April 15, there are 8161 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Japan, including 173 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures: 

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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